What are the best ethnographic books?

asked by Anonymous
438 contributors
10 solutions
  1. 58

    #1Africans in Colonial Louisiana

    Africans in Colonial Louisiana

    Africans in Colonial Louisiana: The Development of Afro-Creole Culture in the Eighteenth-Century is a historical non-fiction book written by  Gwendolyn Midlo Hall. 


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    Jane Austin
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "This is one of the best books that I have ever read about the history of Louisiana and Africans in America. It is very straightforward and to the point and doesn't gloss over anything that would bring shame to America. I love the honesty of this book. "
  2. 54

    #2Gang Leader for a Day

    Gang Leader for a Day
    Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets is a nonfiction sociology autobiographical memoir written by Sudhir Venkatesh. With over 300 pages, this book is published in 2008 by Penguin Press.


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    Gregory Medina
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "Gang Leader for a Day is an interesting take of a Sociologist who went on the inside of the Chicago crack-dealing circuit. It's a very, very insightful and accurate book as it comes from the perspective of a man who gained access into the gang and how he changed it from the inside. It's a very well made book, and it is full of intricate details and spiderwebs of plot twists. Overall I enjoyed it quite a bit and I highly recommend it!"
  3. 53

    #3How Should We Then Live?

    How Should We Then Live?

    How Should We Then Live: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture by Francis Schaeffer is a Christian literature novel originally published in 1976. This book explores historical and cultural development in Christianity.


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    Jorge García
    Written on May 19, 2018
    "How Should We Then Live? is a book that was published in the 1970's. I did not know a lot about ethnographic books but this one taught me a bit more about the historical and development in Christianity. It was a bit boring though."
  1. 49

    #4The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

    The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

    The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down is about Lia Lee who was diagnosed with epilepsy and the struggles of her doctors in finding the cure in 1988. It is written by Anne Fadiman and won as the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. 


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    Matthew Sanders
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "Anne Fadiman’s book is really engaging and just draws the reader in. Although “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down” touches on so sensitive subjects, Anne Fadiman manages to illustrate the cultural differences so starkly that I ended up feeling sympathetic to both the western medical community that was trying to treat Lia Lee as well as Lia’s family and her community. It’s written far more like a dialogue between author and reader than a narrative."
  2. 48

    #5We Borrow the Earth

    We Borrow the Earth

    We Borrow the Earth: An Intimate Portrait of the Gypsy Shamanic Tradition and Culture is a historical non-fiction occult book written by Patrick Jasper Lee. It is published in 2000. 


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    Alan Jenkins
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "This is a wonderful little book dealing with gypsy and shamanic topics. If you are into learning about some cultures you might not be familiar with or even if you know a bit about these cultures and want to know more then this will be a good book for you. This will open up your mind and keep you thinking about it long after you've finished it. Give it a try!"
  3. 45



    Orientalism by Edward W. Said is a modern classic that was first published in 1979. It's a groundbreaking critique of the West's historical, cultural and political perceptions of the East. 


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    Douglas Armstrong
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "One of the best ethnographic books that I have had the pleasure of reading recently has to be Orientalism. I really learned a lot of things from this book and felt enlightened on the topic as I finished this book."
  4. 42

    #7Cannibals and Kings

    Cannibals and Kings

    Cannibals and Kings: Origins of Cultures is a book written by Marvin Harris about Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. It explains how cultures adapt to ecological changes. 


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    Martha Hunter
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "All the Jewish reviewers love this book. Thus, it's clearly subversive and full of made-up "theories" from a supposed expert. It's a book for easily persuaded pseudo-intellectuals."
  5. 41

    #8Zen and Japanese Culture

    Zen and Japanese Culture

    This book is perfect for those who wish to understand better the concept of Zen: its evolution throughout many years and eras, its connections to the samurai's philosophy and how it has influenced many Japanese traditions and ceremonies. 


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    Nick Yao
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "While I'm not sure if this would qualify as the best enthograhpic book out there - Zen and Japanese Culture is a great and informative book. If you have an interest in Zen, or Japanese culture I'd suggest giving this a read. "
  6. 38

    #9Black Greek 101

    Black Greek 101

    Black Greek 101: The Culture, Customs, and Challenges of Black Fraternities and Sororities is a historical non-fiction book written by Walter M. Kimbrough. It is published in 2003. 


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    Ankita Banerjee
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "Black Greek 101 was eye opening. What a great ethnographic book. It taught me a lot of black greek history and culture."
  7. 0

    #10In the Daily Life of the Ancient Egyptians

    In the Daily Life of the Ancient Egyptians

    In the Daily Life of the Ancient Egyptians is a book by Henrietta Mccall which explores the ancient traditions and religious beliefs which are part of the Ancient Egyptian culture. It was published in 2002 by Brighter Child.


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    Bruce Vasquez
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "For those looking to expand their knowledge of the ethnographic material, In the Daily Life of the Ancient Egyptians really does a nice job of laying out a lot of information in an easy to read manner. "


Best What are the best ethnographic books
1Africans in Colonial LouisianaBooks 58 Paid
2Gang Leader for a DayBooks 54 Paid
3How Should We Then Live?Books 53 Paid
4The Spirit Catches You and You Fall DownBooks 49 Paid
5We Borrow the EarthBooks 48 Paid
6OrientalismBooks 45 Paid
7Cannibals and KingsBooks 42 Paid
8Zen and Japanese Culture Books 41 Paid
9Black Greek 101Books 38 Paid
10In the Daily Life of the Ancient EgyptiansBooks 0 Paid

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